To be frank, I have never really taken the time to investigate minimalist music. But, with the World Minimal Music Festival coming to town, now is the time to check out the work of Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Michael Nyman and the likes. Ticket prices vary from € 18 to € 23. If you want to experience all 5 (!) days, there is a passe-partout available for € 130. If you are living anywhere close to Amsterdam or Eindhoven (both here in The Netherlands), let’s meet up and go together! Interested? Please comment. Update: To get you in the mood, 22Tracks has a set of minimal tracks.
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Do you know The Mixtape Club? It’s a great initiative by designers Micah Panama and Brian Thomas. Each month, The Mixtape Club publishes ten mixtapes from ten different contributors on their (lovely minimalist!) website, with the purpose of finding and sharing great music. And you get it: This month, they’ve invited Minimalissimo to submit a mixtape! I asked my Minimalissimo team mates to submit a song, one which they like to blog to. The result is surprisingly eclectic, so check out the mixtape. Update: mix is no longer available online, but you can download it here. Want to know which team member submitted which song? You’ll find out after the jump.
P.A.C.O. is a minimalist bluetooth speaker created by Italian studio Digital Habit(s). This is a stand-alone piece, it can be placed on a desk, shelf or any other surface. Here is how designers describe it: P.A.C.O. is a digital loudspeaker manufactured in concrete and Fir Harmonic Board. The body, heavy and amorphous, enhances the deepness of bass and the harmonic wood gives warmth to the treble. Aside from the bluetooth controls, the speaker can be operated via hand gestures. For example you can place and hold your hand over one side of the sensor to change volume. And to stop the music, you can just cover the sensor with your hand. Simple and intuitive.
Annaleena Leino-Karlsson – @annaleenashem – is a Finnish interior stylist/designer currently residing in southern Sweden, but who will soon be moving to Stockholm. She works with her own label, Annaleena and runs the blog annaleenas hem. Below is an insight into her beautifully captured Instagram: What is the inspiration behind your minimalist photo collection? I have always searched inspiration for my work from nature and music. There is a clear rhythm in both two and I need to feel that my products are strong and well balanced in that way. How does your surroundings impact your creativity? Very much. It can be a little sad sometimes that I need so much space to create and think. But it does not mean that a loud city would hinder me to be creative, just the opposite, it can be a positive environment that inspires to something new. When and how do you decide to take a photo? When the spirit moves and when I see something that I like. Like the perfect shade or the angle of the seat. I can not always control when I take a photo but that’s part of the game. What is your favourite quote on minimalism?...
My wire sculptures tell stories of simple human moments: a woman adjusting her hair, a face gazing from behind tightly wrapped arms, a mother gently cradling her baby. The honest, unguarded moments are the ones that I find to be the most beautiful. Simple human moments executed in a simple and poignant physical form, Zimbabwe-born Gavin Worth‘s wire sculptures are mesmerizing in their beautiful frugality. By bending black wire into free-standing life drawings, he creates sculptures that engage the viewer in their subtle changes – when the light in the room shifts, so does the mood of the piece. Worth is a self-taught artist, having cultivated a lifelong passion for drawing, painting, and sculpture. He worked for nearly a decade in San Francisco as an actor and musician before moving to Cairo, Egypt to teach at the American International School.
Based in New York City, artist and designer Doug Johnston has been focusing since 2010 on a process of coiling and stitching rope into a variety of functional and sculptural objects. From this new bag collection, photographed by Brook&Lyn, each piece is handmade and hand-formed one at a time in Johnston’s Brooklyn studio. The rope works are made from sewing thread and braided 100% cotton cord, stitched on my vintage industrial zig-zag sewing machines. The fabrication technique was learned from the crafting community and adapted for my sculptural and formal explorations. His work spans the disciplines of art, design, architecture and music – Johnston has conducted explorations in the varying worlds of installation, fiber art, sculpture, photography, collaborative performance and even architectural metal fabrication. Such a multidisciplinary background obviously informs everything he makes, helping him create thoughtful and functional pieces that have become widely sought after.
There isn’t anything quite like the pleasure of beholding the careful and considered crafting of a beautiful, solid object, and that is exactly the sensation brought by watching this video for the construction process of London-based luxury accessories brand Oliver Ruuger‘s umbrellas. The incredibly sleek and elegant line of umbrellas was comissioned by LN-CC, a progressive retail concept comprising of clothing, music & books. After honing his craft producing exclusively made-to-order pieces, this is the first retail collection from Oliver Ruuger. The collection launches with four distinct umbrellas, in a custom range of materials. The umbrella is such a traditional, everyday object that it has almost been forgotten in design, but this brand reintroduces the familiar item as something luxurious and indulgent, with an according price range.
Iconico portable speaker, created by Héctor Serrano for French brand Lexon, is a thing of visual and functional simplicity. Intended to be used with mobile phones, it connects to an audio source via a 3.5 millimetre stereo audio cable. And if you want to silence Iconico, simply turn it over and muffle the sound against the table. No buttons to push, I like that. Here is what designer says about the piece: It’s a playful, intuitive and simple object to listen to your music everywhere in high sound quality. Iconico is made of ABS plastic and comes in dark grey and white.
Teenage Engineering, a Stockholm based studio known for their simplistic industrial design, have recently unveiled the OD-11 Cloud Speaker – a wireless speaker that allows music to be streamed from cloud services. Combine this with integrated WiFi and an optional magnetic wireless Bluetooth volume remote, and you have yourself a great cloud music experience. Inside the (26 x 26 x 26 cm) minimalist cubic form, you will find a 100w class D amplifier with filters and a DSP in an attempt to deliver the best possible sound. Certainly a high-end product at $800, but it does appear to be an impressive piece of engineering and design.
The design team at Cadaval & Solà-Morales have created an interesting structure 50km south of Mexico City, as part of a series of bungalows in a town historically popular among artists, poets, musicians and writers. Known as the Tepoztlan Lounge, the openness and its design around existing trees cleverly syncs both natural and manicured landscape into a communal space, where every activity embraces the surroundings. Its architectural form is what I like most about it. Its tri-point volume ensures there isn’t a front or back of the building, embraces every possible advantage of the views of the landscape and allows an openness that integrates internal and external activities yet provides shade and privacy if needed. Parents can be within reach of their children while cooking or in the pool; switching from hammock-napping to novel-reading to pool-plunging mode whenever is what this lounge is about. Its concrete structure as beautifully minimalist as it is, is also an energy efficient material in this climate, making it an incredibly desirable escape right now.
Studie Drei is a series of images by Berlin-based photographer Matthias Heiderich and within this series resonates a sort of timelessness that is captured so beautifully of the top of mostly utilitarian buildings and objects. Self-taught and a DJ and music producer as well, Heiderich has a portfolio of work that makes you wish you could see that same quality of ethereal beauty in the everyday object. The composition is striking and the colors are vibrate yet its most appealing quality is in its minimalistic, almost 2 dimensional style. These shots are my favorite because of how simple yet invoking they are.
In the summer of 2011 the Ratio 3 gallery organized the first solo exhibition in San Francisco of Margaret Kilgallen’s (1967–2001) work in 13 years. Considered by many to be one of the most influential, yet under-recognized, Bay Area artist of her generation. Kilgallen, along with a handful of other artists came to emergence in the late 1990s, as part of an art movement that is now commonly referred to as the Mission School. The artist’s imagery includes her iconic motifs such as leaves, trees, topography, and female figures, all executed in a delicate and adept hand. Her style is beautifully simple and humble, almost folkloric, at times working with basically abstractions of color, lines, and repeating shapes. She was an avid reader and thinker, looking to Appalachian music, signage, typography, letterpress printing, hobo train writing, and religious and decorative arts to inform her work. In addition to her comissioned mural work, she was also a graffiti artist under the tag names “Meta” and “Matokie Slaughter”, the latter used specifically for freight train graffiti. Kilgallen was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 33 and decided to forgo chemotherapy so that she might carry a pregnancy to term. She died in 2001,...